9.19.2011

Road Trip Part 5: Waterton Lakes, International Peace Park, Canada

Grizzly Bear in Waterton Lakes National Park

The Welcome Committee for Glacier National Park

While we were staying in Glacier National Park, we spent a day exploring Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada (about an hour away). The drive to Canada from Glacier is of course, beautiful but it also is speckled with roaming cattle. There are not too many roads in the Glacier area so many times you have to leave the Park and drive around the outskirts for a bit until you reach another Park entrance. Some of the non-Park roads go right through private cattle ranches so you have to be very careful of cows crossing, standing or sleeping in the road. 


CANADA! Eh?

Little Fact: In 1932 the Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park were combined to create the world's first International Peace Park.
Cameron Lake
The first hike we did in Canada was to Summit Lake. We read that the trail was a good place to spot some moose so we headed to gorgeous Cameron Lake and began our hunt/ascent.  Unfortunately, we did not spot any moose. Instead, we saw several recent mountain lion sighting signs. Luckily, we didn't see any mountain lions either, just some very friendly Canadian hikers who kept us very entertained with phrases like, "You betcha!"
View of Cameron Lake from the Summit Lake Trail

Wild Mountain Berries

Wildflowers were everywhere!


Summit Lake...
Our destination! 
Summit Lake was indeed gorgeous but the experience of the hike and the lake itself definitely did not compare to Grinnell Lake. If you are short on time, be sure to check out Grinnell Lake first - so worth it! However, if you have time for both, then be sure to spend some time in Canada because not only are they our friendly neighbors to the north, but we saw loads of bears while we were there. Win-win.



Akamina Lake...


The Prince of Wales Hotel in the distance.

Dan and I had scoped out the Prince of Wales Hotel online before we left for our trip and we knew we wanted to at least stop in and take a look around at this gorgeous hotel. The hotel is perched by itself on top of a bluff that overlooks Waterton Lake. The view from the main lobby of the Lake and surrounding area is breathtaking. 

A traditional British afternoon tea was being served when we arrived so we decided, what the heck? Let's have some tea in Canada! How fun are the tea bag strings poking through the lids?



Harpist in the lobby - oh, how I love the harp!

The Bears...
Right after tea time, we started heading back to our hotel in Glacier. Only a few minutes from The Prince of Wales Hotel, on a small hillside, was a grizzly grazing the fields. We sat and watched him for about 30 minutes and while we were there, a black bear appeared on the opposite side of the road. We had seen another grizzly earlier that day but not one as close as this. And so, this is where the bear madness for the evening began!







As we continued our drive back to Glacier from Canada, we spotted a black bear on the side of the road. He was standing up, eating the leaves off a tree. How amazing is he? We were truly just across the street from this guy -  I was a bit nervous because he gave us the stare down a few times - I was still in the car but Dan was out taking video of him so I thought for sure he was going to come down and jump on the car. Instead, he just kept his eye on us for a while and then ran away.


Back in the USA - our sign is not as nearly as nice and welcoming as Canada's. What's with that?
When we got back to Glacier, we took an evening drive to Many Lakes where we found TONS of bears running along the side of the mountain. As we were watching a mama grizzly and her three cubs trot up the mountain, even more bears appeared!
The mama grizzly and her cubs are on the right and another grizzly is on the left - the mama bear got all protective and scared off the grizzly. There was actually a black bear here at the same time but I just couldn't fit them all in the photo. It was bear central - truly spectacular.

Still to Come...

- Going to the Sun Road -



All Images: Love.Inspire.Create

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